Assemblyman Ramos sets the record straight
Ramos responds to Ravi Bhalla rant
The Councilman-at-Large is best known across the state for making conveniently timed political contributions to Political Action Committees who support Mayors that give him 6-figure no-bid legal contracts. Bhalla’s outrage routine included a few minutes of anger directed at Ramos, who before the meeting sent a private advisory letter to the Mayor and Council.
The letter informed them of the results of his inquiry into the legality of Zimmer’s proposal to limit Councilwoman Beth Mason’s legal ability to make campaign contributions to her colleagues.
In response to Bhalla’s tirade, Ramos offers this letter to the public.
It’s regrettable that Councilman Bhalla chose to only represent a very select portion of my letter to the Mayor and City Council, which was in direct response to an inquiry from members of the Council asking for an opinion from the State. Quite frankly, I am not surprised.
I proudly serve as Hoboken’s representative to the State Legislature and my letter was not meant, in any way, to be a political stunt. However, Councilman Bhalla felt it necessary to take my letter out of context and misquote me. In order to set the record straight, I am publicly disclosing the letter I sent to the Mayor & City Council and I encourage the public to be the judge.
What’s more disturbing about this matter is that Councilman Bhalla has a well-documented history regarding his own lapses in judgment when it comes to pay-to-play activities regarding no-bid contracts he secured for his law firm. I find it ironic that Councilman Bhalla is now attempting to position himself as leading the charge on pay-to-play and other campaign finance reform measures. This amounts to nothing more than the fox guarding the hen house.
In my letter I clearly support the Mayor and Council’s decision to enact pay-to-play reforms. I further applauded Mayor Zimmer’s efforts to promote honest and more transparent government. My comments were in no way directed at or disrespectful of Mayor Zimmer. In my capacity as a State Assemblyman, I was simply doing my job in responding to an inquiry from a municipality in my district.
If this was intended to be a political stunt, believe me, I could have chosen harsher words, especially for Councilman Bhalla.
Ruben J. Ramos, Jr.
Assemblyman, 33rd District